Everyone of us is a slave in some way to some thing. Many of us in this country are slaves to our jobs, to promotion and success at work. Many of us are slaves to happiness. If you’re ready to stop reading, I’m sorry for upsetting you and that is my slavery to comfort coming out. Huh? Yes, you can be a slave to just about anything including your cat should you so wish. You’re thinking right about now either I’m crazy (which I won’t argue against) or I’m plain wrong (and I may be). But take a look at your priorities and try to find a trend in them. Mine reflect a desire for status quo and steadying rather than rocking the proverbial boat.
Merciless. My headstrong desire for comfort has been killing me all my life. Comfort, like all the aforementioned masters, doesn’t give breaks. It doesn’t allow for joy or triumph. It is only a wearying cycle of putting one hand above the other in an ascent of a neverending rope. It’s monotonous and it’s boring, but it’s predictable and safe. You know what those two words translate to? Boring and pansy. I’ll be buying my tract at the cemetary later this week. Hopefully, that’ll be enough time, assuming the boredom or the manic pursuit doesn’t kill me first.
Crazy. Freedom is a word we throw around an awful lot in this country. According to us and the rest of the world, we’re free. I’d disagree, pointing to tribes in sub-Saharan Africa and tell you we’re far from free. Why? We are so used to being free that we’ve shackled ourselves to the freedom we claim. We chain ourselves to success, wealth, power, influence (to name a few). We stake our lives on these pursuits, dying miserable, feeling like we’ve reached the top of the mountain empty. We were spent long ago, but we were too busy pleasing our masters (who may be ourselves) to stop and realize it. Our pursuits are emptying us of what makes us human each day, but we’re too busy to even care.
Different. Now, if what we’re doing already is crazy, the idea that we could be free under the authority of another is well beyond that. It goes contrary to everything within my bones, yet at the same time, it’s the cry of my heart. I want to be freed from the incessant trivialities of this life. I want freedom from all the details, the minutiae, the rat race. I was made for more than to be bogged down in the details, but there is only one way to accomplish this. Only one master can free me from all that gets me down in the day to day and that is Jesus. Yep, I just went Sunday School on y’all. Here’s the thing: for once, it’s not the cop-out, but rather the whole answer. Freedom comes in laying down our ever-growing collection of rocks and allowing Jesus to pick them up and lead the way. We are free to follow, free to question, free to doubt and explore. At the same time, we are at last free to serve something other than ourselves. Now that is freedom. Tell me it’s not crazy.
For freedom to be true freedom, it must be crazy. It must go against the status quo. It has to be countercultural. Otherwise, there is no reason to call it anything but normal. Freedom is anything but normal. And that is precisely what we are made to be; anything but normal. While on the surface we may seem normal, have regular jobs, live in a run-of-the-mill house and have a mildly dysfunctional family, in truth, that is where the similarity stops. We were made for more. We were made to serve God, the only master big enough for a heart made for heaven. I’m OK with that not making complete sense. Are you?